Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology

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Fifteen members of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, all wearing white coats, gather for a group photo outside on the campus of Penn State College of Medicine.

Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology

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Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology at Penn State College of Medicine

The Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology is committed to providing high-quality and patient-centered clinical care, innovating in medical education to ensure future leaders in infectious diseases, conducting high-quality research, and creating an intellectually exciting, diverse and supportive environment in which to work.

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Welcome to the Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology! In 1976, Dr. Robert C. Aber became the first adult infectious diseases physician in central Pennsylvania, and was the sole adult infectious diseases physician at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center until a second faculty hire in 1979. Soon thereafter, Dr. Aber became the inaugural chief of the newly formed Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology.

Several decades after the division’s creation, we now consist of 14 distinguished full-time faculty with support from mid-level providers, infectious diseases pharmacists, fellows, specialty nurses and staff. We collaborate closely with other clinical and research departments as well as medical educators to bring exceptional infectious diseases expertise to central Pennsylvania and to serve as national and international academic leaders. Within our division you will find something for everyone.

We are committed to providing outstanding adult infectious diseases services to our region with strong expertise in HIV/AIDS, infections related to transplant and cancer, bone and joint infections, and general infectious diseases. We see patients in both the inpatient and outpatient settings and facilitate a wide geographic range of care with clinic sites in Hershey, Harrisburg, Lebanon and Altoona. We also offer telehealth options.

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Cynthia J. Whitener, MD, Division Chief

Our faculty participate in a variety of research endeavors from basic to translational science to clinical trials. Our Antimicrobial Stewardship Program was one of the inaugural institutions designated as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence. We regularly present our work at regional, national and international scientific meetings and publish in diverse and influential academic journals within the field. We also strive to mentor and teach future infectious diseases leaders through clinical care electives, research projects, quality improvement initiatives and a robust fellowship training program.

Infectious diseases are among the most critical health problems for people living in the United States and across the globe. As infectious diseases providers, it is essential that we are nimble, adapting to combat new infections as they arise. In this regard, during the COVID-19 pandemic, my extraordinary colleagues rose to the occasion. We cared for thousands of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, led international research studies, and supported the Penn State Health system to allow high-quality patient care to continue despite a global pandemic. I am proud to lead this division and invite you to explore the links to learn more about our team. Thank you for visiting.

Cynthia J. Whitener, MD
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology
Professor of Medicine

Contact us to find out more Call us at 717-531-8881 Follow us on Twitter Join Our Team

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Education in Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology

The Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology is committed to the education of students, residents, fellows, faculty and the community. The training and education programs offer a number of clinical and scientific opportunities to support the next generation of infectious diseases physicians and encourage ongoing growth of faculty members in an innovative and supportive environment. The division provides formal and informal teaching through faculty involvement with the College of Medicine MD degree core curriculum and public health graduate programs. Division members also support teaching efforts at the Penn State Eberly College of Science and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

The division provides education through clinical training programs and facilitates popular medical student and internal medicine infectious diseases elective rotations in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Under the leadership of fellowship program director Tonya Crook, MD, and associate program director David Ingram, DO, the division is also home to an ACGME-accredited fellowship program that admits two fellows per year.

Faculty members understand the importance of engaging the community in education activities. They frequently participate in media outreach, high school education programs, and community Q&A forums to provide central Pennsylvania with reliable and timely infectious diseases education.

Of paramount importance to the division is providing faculty an environment where ongoing learning is encouraged and supported. The division hosts two Internal Medicine Grand Rounds per year, bringing national infectious diseases leaders to Penn State College of Medicine. It also supports faculty, fellows and designated support staff with a stipend and protected time for continuing medical education.

Infectious Diseases Educational Programs and Affiliations